Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu (5 Days)
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is an alternative to the Inca Trail and considered by most to be the best alternative route (and maybe even better!). This magnificent trail is perfect for adventurers who wish to become personally integrated in changing ecosystems from one day to the next. You will walk through sweeping, magical landscapes of a snowy mountain paradise to a tropical jungle where you will find a wide range of animals and medicinal plants and flower varieties. Witness with your own eyes a living, but ancient, culture in remote villages hardly ever seen by foreigners!
The Cordillera Vilcabamba is an impressive mountain range extending over 260 km,. The snow-capped mountain Salkantay rises to 6271 MASL– 20574 FASL in height. It is an outstanding snowy peak, located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cusco in south-central Peru. Because of its proximity to the city, it is easily accessible by car and it has been climbed by professional mountaineers since 1952.
per adult from
Hotel pickup available
What's included :
- 4x Breakfast
- 4x Dinner
- 4x Lunch
- Accommodation included: 4 nights
- Professional bilingual tour guide
- Entrance fees to The Salkantay Trek
- Second day Andean ceremony, offering to the mother earth
- Collection from your hotel (we pick you up from where you are staying)
- Transport to Soraypampa ( trailhead)
- Tourist train back to Ollantaytambo
- Transport back from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
- Entrance fee Machu Picchu
- Camping equipment (tent, cooking and eating tent. Chairs and tables)
- Thermarest(air mat) sleeping mat
- Horseman, mules or porters (they just carry cooking and camping equipment) 7kgs your personal things
- 7 kilos of your personal belongings to be carry by the horses
- Bio-degradable personal hand soaps and Bio-degradable dishwashing detergents used by our staff
- First Aid kit
- Vegetarian/special diet options available
- Entry/Admission - Salkantay Trek
What's excluded :
- Entrance fees to Huyanapicchu
- Extra horse to ride or for any extra backpack
Day 1: Cusco - Sorayapampa
Stop At: Salkantay Trek, Camino Inca Salkantay, 08640, Peru
We will pick you up from your hotel (Must to be located in Cusco) at 4:30 a.m. to begin our expedition to Machu Picchu. You will be met at your hotel by your trekking guide, cook and porters to drive three hours in our private van to the trailhead, Soraypampa. You will enjoy your first breakfast, prepared by your trekking chef, and then you will start preparing for your journey. If the weather allows, the views from this area are breathtaking. You will be looking at two big mountains, called Humantay (5,900 meters above sea level) and Salkantay (6,215 meters above sea level). Your guide will introduce the team, take a group photo and at around 8:30 a.m., you should be hiking, on your way to Machu Picchu. During the day's hike, you will explore the Andes with alpine views, the entire time. For two hours, you will partake in gradual, uphill hiking along the Salkantay valley, until we arrive in Salkantay Pampa, located at 4,000 meters, for a break and some beautiful views of the Salkantay glacier peak and the Salkantay river. After your break, you will continue the last one hour uphill, by switchback, to our lunch spot at Laguna Suyroccocha, located at 4,200 meters high. You will be impressed with the view along the way, as you pass by streams, waterfalls from the hillsides and views of both mountains (Salkantay and Huamantay). Meals are always something to look forward to when you hike with Alpaca Expeditions. For your first lunch, you will be met by your trekking chef and porters, who will be ready with hot beverages, followed by an amazing family-style meal for you to enjoy. This spot is located close to the mountain of Salkantay, so you will be able to see and hear some avalanches falling from the hill of the Salkantay glacier peak. You can have a small nap after lunch until its time to continue your expedition. It will begin with the last uphill portion of the day, towards Salkantay Pass at 4,650 meters high, the highest point of the trek. This will take about an hour, We will reward your hard work with some hot drinks, or coca tea. As the sky starts changing colors, you will be able to enjoy these amazing views without any other tourists. The views will surround you. You will be looking out at Salkantay peak, valleys, waterfalls, clouds lifting over the valleys and the beginning of the sunset, over the mountains. If there is enough time, you will take a short walk to enjoy the small, colorful lake, located at the foot of the glaciers. Finally, your last two hours will be downhill to our first campsite, called Wayracmachay, located at 3,800 meters high. Again, you will experience some impressive views. You will enjoy the back side of the mountain, which always has snow on the roof, and the cloud forest at the bottom of the valley. Hopefully, the weather will allow you to watch the sunset over this magical location, and see the condors flying above. At around 5:30 p.m., you will get to your campsite, located at the foot of Salkantay mountain, and your trekking staff will have your tents set up and with your duffel bags ready. They will provide you with warm water to get washed up and change into something warm. We will have a happy hour with hot chocolate and coffee, followed by dinner. If the weather allows, you will get to enjoy the blue sky, as your tour guide will show you the Inca constellations.
Duration: 10 hours
Accommodation included: Overnight camping in Sorayapampa
Day 2: Sorayapampa - Collapampa
Stop At: Collpapampa, 03220, Peru
Your trekking team will wake you up early with a hot drink to help you start the day. Hopefully, as you open your tent, you will see the sunrise over glacier peaks and clouds, lifting from the green cloud forest. You will have time to pack up and enjoy a nice breakfast prepared by your trekking chef. Around 7 a.m., you will begin the hike which will be four hours downhill until you arrive at your lunch spot, Ccollpapampa at 2,700 meters high. Shortly after you begin to walk from breakfast, you will notice that the micro-climate changes from cold glacier views to a warmer forest with green, lush jungle and beautiful flora and fauna. There will be many different species of orchids to see, as well as ferns and begonia flowers. Hummingbirds will be above you, a difference from the day before. After lunch, you will take a short siesta and then begin the hike for four more hours, on a gradual downhill, to our private campsite called La Loreta at 2400 m. Along the way, you will explore beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and again, flora and fauna. This will be another micro-climate called tropical forest, where local people farm coffee, passion fruit, papayas, oranges and avocados. Upon your arrival to the campsite, you will be welcomed by your trekking staff and have time to enjoy the free hot shower, hot Jacuzzi and perhaps swim in our swimming pool. There will also be time to walk around our ecological garden to see some our garden of coffee, avocado, chillis, tomatoes. and pineapples. Dinner tonight will be at our building with views to the Salkantay river which you will hear below to help you fall asleep at night.
Duration: 8 hours
Accommodation included: Overnight camping in Collapampa
Day 3: Collapampa - La Playa
Stop At: Salkantay Trek, Camino Inca Salkantay, 08640, Peru
After a delicious breakfast, you will get started on your shortest, but most interesting day. You will experience the most beautiful sights along your trekking route to Machu Picchu. You will explore the tropical forest and have a visit at an organic coffee farm, where you will be able to taste the coffee, prepared by the local people. Coffee is the main farming industry for the local people. They farm big hectares of coffee to export to the United States, Asia and Europe. Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, but it wasn't until the Spanish invaded Cusco, that it was brought to this region. You will also explore some orange and avocado farms. When you are finished, you will get the opportunity to climb part of the Inca trail for two and a half hours. You will see amazing views of the Santa Teresa valley, until you arrive at the Llactapata Inca site, right in front of Machu Picchu. This will be the first site you see, of the Lost City of the Incas. You will be able to see the Machu Picchu ruins, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountain from this spot. You will explore and learn about the Inca site with your tour guide. There will be plenty of time to take photos. It will then be 15 minutes downhill, to your lunch and campsite area. This campsite is owned by a local family, and only Alpaca Expeditions has permission to stay there. This is a great place to enjoy the sunset and sunrise over Machu Picchu. After lunch, you will have some free time to enjoy the views and relax from the hiking. Again, we will serve a lovely happy hour, with tea and coffee, and your chef will prepare a delicious meal for dinner. Once the stars come out, you can enjoy the Milky Way and the Inca constellations. This is where Incan astronomers studied the sky to predict the weather.
Duration: 8 hours
Accommodation included: Overnight camping in La Playa
Day 4: La Playa - Aguas Calientes
Stop At: Aguas Calientes, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Region
There will be an early wake up, with a hot cup of coca tea. You will get ready for today’s activities and enjoy your last breakfast prepared by your trekking chef. You will begin your hike on a two hour, downhill path, with views of Machu Picchu, until you arrive at the hydroelectric station. The impressive part of this area, is the natural waterfall, at 300 meters high, which generates the electricity for the region of Cusco. You will then arrive at the famous Intiwatana (sun dial rock). According to history, this Inca stone used to work with the famous sun dial rock in Machu Picchu, during the winter solstice, which was the beginning of a new farming season for the Incas. After you pass this small Inca site, you will reach the train rain road, which has a nice path to walk on. It will take approximately three hours to arrive in Aguas Calientes, located at the foot of the valley of Machu Picchu. This section is interesting because it is a trail used by the American Professor, Hiram Bingham, who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost. He walked along this valley looking for the lost city of Vilcabamba. He met the farmer Melochor Artaega, who guided him to Machu Picchu. You will get to pass by the farm of Melochor Artaega, where you will see many species of flora and fauna, including the famous Peruvian national bird called cock of the rock, tucanets, propendolas, parrots and orchids. Finally, upon your arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will enjoy a packed lunch. You will then go to your hotel to enjoy a hot shower and a visit to the famous, hot springs (10 soles, not included), of Aguas Calientes. In the evening, you will enjoy your final dinner with your trekking chef and say good bye to him.
Duration: 10 hours
Accommodation included: Overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes
Day 5: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Stop At: Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Region
Today is the most important day of your expedition. To get the most out of the day, we encourage every group to have an early breakfast before catching one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (starting at 5:30 a.m.). The hotel will hold your bags for you until you return from your tour. The bus will take 30 minutes to get to the top. Once you arrive, your guide will introduce you to Machu Picchu. You will head directly to a beautiful place to watch the sunrise and to take pictures. Your guide will walk you around the citadel, for two and a half hours, teaching you more about the history and culture of the Incas. At the end of the tour, you will have some time to yourself or, if you arranged to hike Huayna Picchu (must be booked in advance, as it sells out and costs $35 per person), your guide will show you where to begin this hike, which will take no more than two hours round-trip. You should start heading to the bus line to head back to Aguas Calientes around 3 p.m., as your train will typically leave at 4:20 p.m. (your guide will inform you if the train time is earlier). You take a two-hour train back to Ollantaytambo, followed by a two-hour car ride, back to your hotel for drop off.
Duration: 10 hours
No accommodation included on this day.
Departure Point :Traveler pickup is offered
We will be picking you up from your hotel within the historic centre of Cusco. Please Note: This service doesn't include pick up in private residencies, example; Airbnb or hotels that are outside the historic centre.
Departure Time :7:00 AM
Return Detail :-
Hotel Pickup :
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Travelers should have a strong physical fitness level
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
- You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
- All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.